Africell on mission to secure U.S. private equity investment

Ziad Dalloul, CEO, Africell

Africell Holding, the largest mobile-phone operator in Sierra Leone and Gambia, is courting U.S. private-equity firms including Providence Equity Partners, KKR, and Carlyle Group, hoping to sell a stake in the company, which is valued by the owner at up to $1.5 billion.

Ziad Dalloul, who is based in Lebanon, founded Africell in 2000. The company also operates in the Democratic Republic of Congo and this year bought the operations of Orange in Uganda. Providence is particularly interested, Mr. Dalloul said in an interview in London.

Providence made its first African investment earlier this year, buying a stake in Helios Towers Africa, which operates telecommunications towers in countries including Congo. KKR also made its first African investment this year.

Carlyle, which has a $698 million African fund, this week agreed to buy stakes in Nigeria’s Diamond Bank PLC and in Tiger Automotive, a South African tire retailer.

Source: WSJ Blogs – WSJ